HATE SPEECH? [John Derbyshire]
A reader has chid me for using the term "Papist" in a private exchange, to refer to Roman Catholics (of which he is one).
Is this unacceptable? I am always way behind the curve on this stuff. I caused a stunned silence in company a few years ago by using the word "Jewess" in all innocence. (One of the stunnees, a Jewish lady, explained to me afterwards: "I can use that word, but you can't." I have stopped using it.)
I mean "Papist" light-heartedly, as ought to be clear from the fact that I refer to persons of my own persuasion as "Prods." There is, however and alas, not much light-heartedness in the area of self-identification nowadays, and for all I know I may be causing people to gasp, sputter, and swoon. Let me know, please.
Ramesh doesn't mind. I do, especially when it comes from an Anglican Brit (even one who calls himself a "Prod" [and...btw...I always thought that Anglicans virulently reject placing themselves in the "Protestant" category...but I suppose there are different levels of that, as well] - any Catholic ethnic identity I have is all French-Canadian, and it's implanted a knee-jerk reaction to what the Johnny Bulls (as my mother said they used to call the Anglo-Saxon Protestants in Maine) have to say about me.